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FOIA Handbook

Freedom of Information Act

NRO FOIA Handbook

Definition of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA generally provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, of access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions thereof) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions.

View the FOIA Handbook
View the DoD FOIA Handbook

NRO and the FOIA

The goal of the FOIA office at NRO is to release as much information as possible, consistent with the need to protect information under the exemption provisions of the law. Where discretionary releases can be made without causing harm, the Chief Information Access and Release Team, as the initial denial authority, and the NRO Principal Deputy Director, as the appeal authority, use their discretion to release information even where an exemption may be available. The FOIA exemptions used by NRO to protect information are exemptions one through seven. The eighth and ninth exemptions do not pertain to the missions and functions of NRO.

  • Because of the sensitivity of NRO's functions and activities, the most often cited exemptions are (b)(1) (national security information) and (b)(3) (exemption by statute)


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